Non-Combatants

By Ron Graham

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13. The Greek word “hymeis” is translated into English as ye, you, or yourselves. Jesus is telling the group of listeners before Him that they (we) are the salt of the earth. Notice how Jesus explains to the group before Him that “if” we become ineffective as the salt of the earth we also become good for nothing? To be trodden under foot of men? The word “trodden” comes from the Greek word “katapateō” and metaphorically speaking it means to treat with rudeness and insult. Whether we stand firm with Christ or we cower in a corner, the lost of this world will still abuse us and treat us offensively; unless, of course, the world sees us simply as one of their own. When we lose our saltiness (effectiveness as Christians) we become more and more secular, eventually embracing various forms of evil in order to fit in and get along – we become non-combatants. 

 

“Ye are the light of the world; A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Matthew 5:14. We, as Christ’s followers, are mandated to follow His commands – even in this late hour. As the light of the world it is our responsibility to reflect the light of Christ to a lost and perishing world. “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Matthew 5:15. Has your candle gone out? Have you become a non-combatant?

 

“…for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” Matthew 13:21. The Greek word “skandalizō”, translated offended, means to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey - to cause to fall away. Persecution can be a horrible cross to bear – but bear it we must. If you are not being persecuted, if you aren’t feeling the heat of battle from the powers and principalities, from the rulers of the darkness of this world, from spiritual wickedness in high places, it could be the enemy sees you as a non-combatant.

 

When the enemy sees us (Christians) as a threat to his evil agenda, the ensuing persecution will be anything but peaceful.  As long as we are on the firing line we will feel the enemy’s sting. No sting? Well then, you might need to do some soul searching as to whether or not you are even a threat to the enemy. Non-combatant Christians can be easily discouraged, and even defeated. In other words, their Christian walk becomes of non-effect. When relegated to the category of non-combatant, Christians are no longer pursued and persecuted by the malevolent supernatural realm. 

 

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Ephesians 2:1-2. At some point in our past we were dead, dead in our trespasses and sins, but no more. Those who follow Christ have been quickened (made alive, reborn, a new creation). Before we were quickened we belonged to Satan. He is the prince of the power of the air. When we escaped his camp – became followers of Jesus Christ – his hatred for us grew in extreme measure and his attacks on us will continue to intensify according to our faithful resolve. When we became born again we moved into the direct line of fire of the most extreme nemesis of God – Satan. For some, the heat is too intense and they’ve chosen to sit this war out as non-combatants. 

 

Christians are a huge walking billboard with a massive bull’s eye painted on them in plain sight of the supernatural realm, both benevolent and malevolent. Our malevolent enemy is transfixed on destroying us, while the benevolent forces of God stand ready to defend us with all tenacity. The Christian that has said in his/her heart they are content with life the way it is, who see no reason or benefit in promoting the Gospel, have had that bull’s eye obscured. Actually, they have something that the enemy promotes as highly beneficial. That would be apathy.

 

When I receive letters telling me of the battles that other Christians are facing and enduring, I’m always very encouraged. I know they are out there on the front lines, sacrificing themselves while telling others about Jesus. They tell me of the attacks from the forces of evil, yet they remain strong in their faith. But it saddens me when I receive letters from Christians who have given up spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Losing one’s drive when it comes to evangelizing is the same as a lack of hope and should be seen as a demonic ruse.

 

I’ve been told by some readers that those who’ve rejected Christ are so blinded that nothing will change their minds. That erroneous opinion would certainly mean the Holy Spirit has left the building. No. What has happened is many Christians have swallowed the enemy’s deceptions hook, line, and sinker; they’ve given up. To them the war is lost. They don’t know how to distinguish a battle from all out war. They are now content to sit out the remainder of their days in an enemy-imposed form of Christian isolation while they divest themselves from the Great Commission.

 

Christians, we have been given a firm commandment. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20. That commandment, given to us by the Creator of the universe Himself, Jesus Christ, has never been rescinded. As His followers we must realize that when our Creator tells us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations He’s not merely suggesting we go out and witness to the world, and Jesus isn’t simply asking for our help to tell the lost world that salvation is only through Him. He’s commanding us to get out in the trenches and follow His orders – to the letter. It must sadden our Lord that, after what He has done for us, many of His followers aren’t willing to stand up for Him in the heat of battle.

 

Yes, at times the heat from the battle will grow intense, even painful, especially during these last days. The enemy has ratcheted up his attacks and here in America the persecution is manifesting at levels never seen before. But my brethren, we must take a stand and not cower. Surrender is not an option. What side do you want to be on? There’s a winning side and a side that has already lost. You know what side wins so why hang back?

 

Most people have no clue as to the urgency of the hour. Most Christians similarly view the signs of the times as mere blips on a radar screen, soon to disappear and everything will return to normal. Tomorrow will bring a better day. Those of us who see mankind as currently living in the last days of planet earth see those signs quite differently. Tomorrow will be bringing more pain and suffering, and with each passing day that pain and suffering is growing exponentially worse. There will come a day when our ability to speak the truth of God’s word will be greatly diminished. It has just come to my attention that here in America it is now against the law to pray in front of the White House. Our freedom of speech is being trampled on. What’s the next freedom to get the boot? Freedom to worship the God of the Bible? Of course, that loss of freedom my not affect the non-combatant.

 

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Right now, today, opportunities abound to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and to glorify God our Father in Heaven. However, your witness is not merely verbal, but also it shows in how you live your Christian life. Do you walk the walk or merely talk the talk? You can speak volumes without opening your mouth simply through living a Christ centered life and by not compromising your faith. But when your life demonstrates a pattern of secular choices, and even a humanistic world view, that tells everyone who is watching you (and believe me there are plenty lost folks watching you) that there is no difference between you and them. Why would they (the lost and perishing of this world) want what you have when you show no sign that you have anything more than what they already possess? As the born again children of God, we mustn’t give in and be non-combatant when it comes to standing firm on God’s word. We always need to be seen and perceived as being different (a reflection Christ) than those who are of this world. 

 

“Let the others do the promoting of the Gospel; that’s not what God had in store for me”. If that is your attitude you are living a life contrary to the commandments of your King. When the enemy sees your determination in avoiding the work God commands you to do he can then put out a memorandum concerning future attacks on you to all of his horde – pursue not, it’s only a non-combatant.

 

On the other hand if you still love the Lord keep His commandments – be more than a conqueror.  “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37. Christ’s Ekklesia will soon be removed from planet earth and will no longer be a witness to the lost. A question we must all ask ourselves before that great day arrives is “What have I done for Jesus?”

 

God bless you all,

 

Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

 

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed

 

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